Agenda, Attendee List, & Presentation files now available to Autotech Council members in the library.

This 90-minute session focuses on the innovation happening across the vehicle purchase experience. How can Dealerships respond to shifting times, improve the customer experience, and re-establish their value in the supply chain? Startups will pitch their solutions across business models, predictive maintenance, fintech, charging, data, AI and more - to get us all thinking about the opportunities created by this disruption.

  • Date: 7/11/2023 01:00 PM
  • Location Autotech Council Virtual Lounge



Silicon Valley, California, July 13, 2023/Meeting Recap/   Autotech Council's July short meeting on Dealer Technology & Solutions was part of our Spotlight Series, co-hosted by Avanta Ventures.  This 90-minute online meeting featured presentations from up-and-coming startups in the field and an open discussion around the topic with our members and OEMs.

Car Dealerships are not normally the car owner’s favorite place. But the car purchase transaction is actually far more complicated than most people understand, and there are many sub-processes that must take place, adding up to a long, painful visit in order to buy a car. There is advertising, car selection, test driving, option selection, sales, financing, registration, insurance, trade-in evaluation, trade-in dealmaking, dealer-installed options installation, financing, inspection, and orientation…small wonder it takes a few hours or more.

As much as possible, dealers try to do these processes in parallel, but since each is part of the customer’s journey, it often is sequential. So it was great for us to see so many startups with Dealer Tech at our July meeting. These companies proposed many solutions to speed up all steps of the dealer experience including the above sales processes, but also ongoing relationships, service, warranty, and trade-in and resale of the vehicle.

We had presentations on technologies including:

  • Fleet sales
  • Inventory intelligence
  • Lowering the initial price barriers for EVs through innovative leasing models
  • Improving the customer experience
  • Deeper integration of online pre-sales with the dealership visit
  • Dealership EV charging
  • Using the blockchain as a car’s long-term service record

We concluded our meeting with an open discussion that ended with the question: “What is the future of dealerships?” which hinted at the decreasing role these play in a web world with direct-to-consumer sales. The conclusion of the group is that the statistics show that dealer visits prior to a vehicle purchase are on a downward trend. From around 4 to 1.3, but despite this, the complexity, value, and size of the product means that the dealerships are unlikely to ever go away. More and more of the dealerships normal on-site processes will shift to online, but the dealership will always be needed for product delivery, configuration, and service. Many in attendance speculated that the dealerships will shift their roles towards service, with a focus on customer experience.

Thanks again to our co-hosts at Avanta Ventures. The startup pitches from this meeting are now available in our Member Library.